The name of my blog is kinda a dead giveaway–I love birds and love painting birds. Much of the reason I love birds is due to my youth. One place we would frequent was the wildlife refuges in Ridgefield, WA, in particular the Carty Unit–which is an all walking refuge. Back in the day we’d just run across the railroad tracks to get there, then they built a bridge over the tracks (much safer but VERY steep and slick in the winter), recently, for the 50 year anniversary of its conception, they have made even more improvements. Back to my youth–many happy hours were spent climbing the huge oak trees, running through the tall grass and playing hide and seek, checking out birds nests, ant hills, and eating blackberries–playing! As I got older I took my children down there to enjoy it. Now my children are taking their children. Refuges are an important part of keeping the balance between wild-life and human-life. They are truly a place of refuge for us all.Continue reading “A Worthy Project For The Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge”
Tag Archives: redwinged blackbird
Open Studio This Weekend–Welcome To My Studio–A Virtual Tour
Most of you who read this blog do not live nearby and can’t stop in and visit, so I’m bringing you a narrative, day in the life of, studio tour to you.
It is a beautiful day here in the Pacific NW. I started my day doing my Doodling Devotional (which I post every morning at DoodlingDevotional@wordpress.com–shameless plug, I hate it when people do that!). Then off to Lewisville Park with my dog, Bekkah, who meet a new golden retriever friend. They romped around while I visited with the dog’s “parents.” I love walking at Lewisville Park. It’s a little like over the hill and through the dale, to grandmother’s house we go. We start out walking a mile through the woods, which in the spring looks different every day. It was as if the woods exploded into every shape, shade and texture of green, with a pop of pink salmon berry flowers here and there as well as a clump of Trilliums dotting the ground. Then we’re down the hill and walking another 1 1/2 miles along the currently, rushing Lewis River. It’s a feast for the senses–especially if you’re a dog.
Let’s get back home….studio tour days are unpredictable so I eat a couple fried eggs and a piece of toast, this had better hold me for a while. Indeed it was a good idea because my next meal didn’t come until 3:45. (We will have to be more prepared with snacks the next couple of days.) The day started slow. I had time to answer a few emails and catch up on things that I needed to do. Around 11:30 everything changed. My first group was ladies from the coffee shop (thanks for bringing them Linda–you know who you are), and it never ended till 5. I had a blast seeing friends who drove an hour to get here and coworkers from a past life, as well as new friends from my gym. It never ceases to amaze me that people would take time out of their day to come see what I do and to take such an interest in it. I am most blessed!!! Thank you everyone–wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. You haven’t seen the tour yet. The entry to my studio as you come into my driveway, and of course, the door going in. (Don’t you love the welcoming, hand-written sign, oh, if you’re tall, duck your head coming in so you don’t hit the canopy.)
Several waves of friends and acquaintances flowed through today. I have been pleased to see the interest people have taken in my plein air pieces. It’s definitely time to paint more as several have found new homes. As you come into my garage/gallery/studio, this is the first thing you see. Two of these pieces have found new homes.
I have painted several new bird paintings this year already and it has been fun to get a vote on the two that I should enter into an international show I’m hoping to be chosen to participate in. This is my new last year “gallery” space.
So far I’ve been standing in one place to take the last two pictures. If you spin around to the right you will see that I’m set up to get some painting done–possibly tomorrow. We’ll see if anyone comes.
Now, let’s go into the inner sanctum–where that easel is usually set up–my studio. It’s usually warm and cozy, music is playing (Hey, that’s what I forgot to do, turn on the music!) and the instant I come in I feel inspired. To the right as you come in the door are two pieces I painted in a couple of workshops with William Cochran. Teacher and artist extraordinaire! This is where I learned about values and color and working with a VERY small pallet–the result, vibrant, harmonious paintings. Thank you William.
Take two steps further and on the right is my desk where I am currently sitting and typing. (I’m invisible and chairless–spell check says this isn’t a word–in this view.)
Now, I’m sure you’re tired. Have a seat in the chairs that used to be in the reception area where my husband works. I did a little upgrading. Behind them are my “barn door” display walls. You don’t want to know what is behind them–actually, it’s blank canvases and supplies. These are a few plein air pieces. It’s a great way for me to have a place to set small wet paintings and enjoy them even after they dry. Sorry about the glare.
While you’re sitting you can look at the other wall. Here you will find a collection of reproductions of my first three in the Bird-Watcher series–what inspired the concept behind this blog.
A little more to your left, more things to look at. Two older pieces.
The tour is now coming to an end. I am getting hungry again and should go eat and crash. Thank you for taking the time to walk through my day with me. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. And, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by. I’m here tomorrow and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
My Observations–From the Bird Watcher
Finally, I get a word in edgewise. Lately, Kara has been hording this blog. I think she’s forgotten that I get first billing here, note the name, “The Bird Watcher & The Artist.”
I actually just want to take a minute to apologize to the Pine Siskin. In the painting, Feuding Siskins, I depict them as feisty, hyper, unruly little birds, which they are, but there is another side to them as well.
In my defense, several years ago when I was first introduced to them there was a flock of 20-30 birds that would fly into our feeders and proceed to fight and peck for food, chattering the whole time. It was a constant mayhem of activity. I’d missed seeing them the last couple of years but this fall a few came back–only six–and wintered over. They are much calmer when there are only six. Yes, every once in a while they have a squabble but nothing like the feuds they had as a larger flock. So please, Pine Siskins, accept my apology for making you out to being little fighters when you are also lovers. Thank you!Continue reading “My Observations–From the Bird Watcher”
It’s Been HOW Long Since I Posted Here?
We’ve all done it! Had grand plans to do something creative and new and then splat, we fall on our faces. Yep, I am guilty of doing that. In fact, this blog is a perfect example. Before I started this blog I had a ton of ideas, wrote a few down, explored what format I’d want and struggled with pros and cons of all the options, then finally, I got brave and moved forward. After spending a while figuring out the system I made my first posts. All was good then, ***poof***, all ideas disappeared into the clouds, just like many of my contacts and appointments on my calendar and other important items on my phone and computer when I’ve “upgraded” to a new format. “I got nothin'” seemed to be the only thought process for days, now weeks.Continue reading “It’s Been HOW Long Since I Posted Here?”